Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Funding Opportunity Title

NIDDK Information Network Coordinating Unit: dkNET-CU (U24)

Activity Code

U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-DK-11-030

Related Notices
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-DK-17-010

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.847 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to continue development and expansion of the NIDDK Information Network (dkNET) under the direction of the dkNET Coordinating Unit (dkNET-CU). dkNET supports NIDDK research by providing a user-friendly web portal that seamlessly connects the NIDDK research community to an expanding universe of biomedical resources and data. The dkNET-CU will be responsible for providing the scientific direction, vision, and administrative management needed to advance dkNET goals. 

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

May 25, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

September 30, 2017

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

September 30, 2017

Application Due Date(s)

October 31, 2017, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February/March 2018

Advisory Council Review

May 2018

Earliest Start Date

July 2018

Expiration Date

November 1, 2017

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Go to Grants.gov to download an application package to complete the application forms offline or create a Workspace to complete the forms online; submit your application to Grants.gov; and track your application in eRA Commons.
Learn more about the various submission options.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information


Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Background

The NIDDK information network (dkNET) was originally conceived as a strategy to promote sharing of data and resources within and among NIDDK research communities. In its last project period (RFA-DK-11-030), the dkNET portal facilitated resource sharing by providing the NIDDK investigator community with a dynamic inventory of resources and data obtained from a number of NIDDK's large collaborative projects. Resource contributors for the early phases of dkNET included the Nuclear Receptor Signaling Atlas (NURSA), the Beta Cell Biology Consortium (BCBC), the GenitoUrinary Molecular Anatomy Project (GUDMAP), the Diabetic Complications Consortium (Diacomp), and the Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers (MMPC). To increase its utility for NIDDK researchers, dkNET extended its reach by subsequently indexing and providing seamless access to several additional large NIH programs and resource centers (e.g., T2D-AMP, the Monarch Initiative, and Immunobase). The data and reagent types being captured and indexed by dkNET represent a wide variety of resources, including: protocols and assays, antibodies, cell lines and animal models, datasets, and funding opportunities. To remain timely and useful, the dkNET-Coordinating Unit (dkNET-CU) must develop strategies to ensure that it continuously evolves to meet community needs. Through webinars, meeting presentations, collaborations with other resource-intensive programs, and in-depth literature searches, dkNET focuses on the research and development needed to adapt and refine its resource holdings, and to enhance the project's ability to support new and novel NIDDK research. While plans to invite and support sub-awards that may augment dkNET's outreach functions are not requested in this funding opportunity announcement, additional funds may be made available at a later time to support and expand these types of collaborative activities.

The extensive dkNET resource catalogs are accessible via a dedicated, user-friendly web portal. Tools are also made available to provide for efficient searches, individualized workflows, and for analysis, visualization, and reuse of data. Like the dkNET catalog, it is anticipated that the portal will continue to research new ways to develop and improve over time, and will incorporate any expanded functionality needed to enhance the user experience.

Developing innovative strategies to enhance data and reagent sharing remains an important focus for NIDDK. As data science and its associated technologies rapidly evolve, the volume of research data being accumulated grows exponentially. In addition, data science innovations are providing increasingly powerful and sophisticated technologies for integration and mining of data.  These advances enable not only the utilization of "Big Data", but also support the integration of small to intermediate-sized datasets to address "Big Science" questions.  For example, emerging data that profile human biology at extraordinary depth and resolution, in unprecedented sample sizes, together with the availability of advanced algorithms to integrate and mine the datasets, provide new opportunities to accelerate and transform biomedical research. 

While projects like dkNET and the related Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) address some of the unmet needs around NIH data science and resource management, a significant fraction of NIH data and resources remain outside the reach of these projects. Research data and reagents are largely scattered in public and private repositories, individual lab webservers, and publication appendices. Resources are often stored in a diverse range of formats, and may be maintained on different computer platforms. For these reasons, it continues to be extremely challenging for an individual lab to locate data and resources relevant to their research. This challenge is even more acute when small and intermediate-size data sets are involved, as these are less likely to be stored in public data repositories.  It is equally challenging for any individual lab to keep up with rapid advances in data science.  Given the continuing need to develop new and novel strategies for sharing comprehensive and timely information about emerging resources and data science, NIDDK remains committed to supporting activities such as dkNET that focus on the research needed to address this important issue.

Scope and Objectives  

The dkNET Coordinating Unit must have the background and experience needed to pursue research into methods that will serve a diverse investigator population with varying levels of expertise in resource development and data utilization.  For example, NIDDK investigators accessing the dkNET portal may include researchers that produce large datasets, bioinformatics researchers, and individual researchers who may generate and/or consume these resources.  The dkNET-CU will be expected to deliver services that will assist this diverse research base, with the goal of fostering a research environment that will accelerate advances and promote unique synergies. Project awardees will be expected to address this goal by:

  • Expanding functionality of dkNET by staying current with community needs and with new data and resources as they become available, by increasing awareness of the latest state-of-art developments in data science, and by developing a rigorous and sustainable indexing scheme for NIDDK-relevant data and resources;
  • Extending the dkNET catalogs by fostering interactions with other NIDDK or relevant NIH consortia/centers, and by creating and maintaining partnerships as needed to exploit the deep knowledge of datasets and resources provided by these groups;
  • Developing new and novel strategies to expand dkNET functionalities, including approaches to adapt the platform to a cloud-computing or other neutral, easily accessible environment to distribute ownership and to maintain resiliency of the network, pursuing research that will enhance the availability of existing tools to foster sharing, integration, and mining of information from the network and any constituent resources, and adapting basic functionalities for use in multiple electronic platforms including mobile devices;
  • Conducting outreach activities to define needs and use cases, and to identify potential solutions that will enhance functionality and usage of dkNET, planning workshops and other consultations to advance the build-out and utilization, as well as the awareness of dkNET, developing and deploying evaluation strategies to ensure best value of the project for NIDDK investigators; and
  • Enhancing rigor and reproducibility in NIDDK research by helping investigators obtain appropriate research resource identifiers (RRIDs) needed for any new reagents, and by assisting in the development of authentication reports for key biological and/or chemical resources.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

 Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIDDK intends to commit $1,000,000 in FY 2018 to fund ONE award.

Award Budget

 This FOA is limited to $635,000 Direct Costs per year, exclusive of subcontract Facilities and administrative (F&A) costs.

Award Project Period

 The maximum project period is five years.  

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

o   Hispanic-serving Institutions

o   Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

o   Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

o   Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

o   Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent, preferably electronically, should be sent to:

John Connaughton, Ph.D.
Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 7005
Bethesda, MD  20892-5452
Telephone: 301-594-7797
Email: NIDDKLetterofIntent@mail.nih.gov

 

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions: 

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan. As part of the sharing plan, applicants should provide detailed strategies for ensuring any project generated software or deliverables are openly accessible and rapidly shared with the research community.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by NIDDK, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?   

Specific to this FOA: Does the coordinating unit address needs of the NIDDK research community in a way that promotes sharing of resources? Is the scope of activities proposed appropriate to meet those needs? Will successful completion of the aims bring about unique advantages or capabilities to the NIDDK research community? 

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Specific to this FOA: Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have demonstrated experience and an ongoing record of accomplishments in research focused on managing information related to research resource indexing and web portal development? Do the investigators demonstrate significant experience interacting with diverse investigator communities that may have varying levels of expertise in resource development and data utilization? Does the applicant have experience overseeing selection and management of subawards, if needed?  

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed? 

Specific to this FOA: Does the application propose novel strategies for identifying, acquiring, indexing and displaying key information about NIDDK resources and data? Does the application propose innovative methods for improving the efficiency of searches and the interpretability of search results? Will the project develop innovative approaches for evaluating the impact of the program on advancing NIDDK research objectives? 

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

Specific to this FOA: Are the plans for accomplishing tasks required for outreach, resource indexing, transitioning to cloud services, handheld services and portal development appropriate?  Are approaches and strategies in place that will ensure continuing evolution of the project as new opportunities arise and novel tools are developed? Are evaluation plans in place that are designed to measure and maximize the utility of the project for the research community it serves?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? 

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: (1) Data Sharing Plan; (2) Sharing Model Organisms; and (3)  Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

Not Applicable

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by NIDDK, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council (NDDKAC). The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements.  FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award.  An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS.  The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.”  This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement U24, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Awardee(s) will be primarily responsible for defining the objectives and approaches, planning, conduct, analysis, and publication of results, interpretations, and conclusions of studies conducted under the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement award.
  • The Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) will assume responsibility and accountability to the applicant organization officials and to the NIH for the performance and proper conduct of the research supported under this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in accordance with the terms and conditions of award, as well as all pertinent laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Awardee(s) will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government policies regarding rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.
  • Awardees are responsible for their staff in maintaining confidentiality of the information as developed by the consortium, including, without limitation, study protocols, data analysis, conclusions, etc. per policies approved by the Steering Committee (SC) as well as any confidential information received by third party collaborators.
  • Awardees must analyze, publish, and/or publicly release and disseminate results, data, and other products of the study in a timely manner, concordant with the approved plan for making quality-assured data and materials available to the scientific community and the NIH, consistent with NIH policies and achieving the goals of the FOA.
  • Awardee(s) will be required to participate in a cooperative and interactive manner with members of the consortium including designated NIH staff (e.g., Program Official, Project Scientist).
  • Awardees must share data, materials, models, methods, information, and unique research resources that are generated by the projects in concordance with dkNET policies in order to facilitate progress, as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of this program. When appropriate, and in accordance with NIH policies, as well as NIDDK policies, awardees will be expected to collaborate; share novel reagents, biomaterials, methods and models and resources; and share both positive and negative results that would help guide the research activities of other consortium members.
  • Awardee(s) agree to establish agreements amongst themselves that address the following issues as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of this program:
     
  • Procedures for data sharing among consortium members and data sharing with industry partners;
  • Procedures for safeguarding confidential information, including without limitation, any data generated by the consortium as well as information and/or data received from external collaborators;
  • Procedures for addressing ownership of intellectual property that result from aggregate multi-party data;
  • Procedures for sharing bio-specimens under an overarching MTA amongst consortium members that operationalizes material transfer in an efficient and expeditious manner; and
  • Procedures for reviewing publications, determining authorship, and industry access to publications.
  • Awardee(s) agree that each industry collaboration should be governed by a research collaboration agreement (e.g. CTA, RCA, etc.) with terms that ensure the collaboration is conducted in accordance with the Cooperative Agreement, applicable NIH policies and procedures.
  • Awardees must agree to comply with the processes and goals as delineated within the FOA.
  • Upon completion or termination of the research project(s), the awardees are responsible for making all study materials and procedures broadly available (e.g., putting into the public domain) or making them accessible to the research community according to the NIH-approved plan submitted for each project, for making data and materials available to the scientific community and the NIH for the conduct of research. The data sharing plan should include a plan to accomplish this at the end of the study.
  • Awardee(s) agree to the governance of the study through a Steering Committee:

  • The PD/PI, or contact PD/PI in the case of multi-PD/PI awards, will serve as a voting member of the Steering Committee and will attend all meetings of the Steering Committee.
  • Each full member will have one vote.
  • The awardee will be responsible for accepting and implementing the goals, priorities, procedures, protocols, and policies agreed upon by the Steering Committee and Subcommittees.
  • Awardees must serve on subcommittees as needed. Subcommittees will report progress at Steering Committee Meetings and/or lead discussions at the Annual Investigator’s Retreat.
  • Awardees may be asked to scientifically review applications for special opportunity pool funds, as it is deemed appropriate.

NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

  • The NIDDK will designate program staff, including a Program Official and a Grants Management Specialist to provide normal program stewardship and administrative oversight of the cooperative agreement. The Program Official and Grants Management Specialist will be named in the Notice of Grant Award.
  • The NIDDK will invite External Experts with relevant scientific expertise. The External Experts will meet to review the progress of the research projects and to advise NIH staff of scientific developments and opportunities that may enhance the achievement of the study goals.
  • An NIH IC Project Scientist will be substantially involved in this project above and beyond the normal stewardship of an NIH IC Program Official as follows:
  • The NIH Project Scientist will coordinate and facilitate the research projects, attend, and participate in all meetings of the Consortium, and act as (a) liaison between the Awardee and the External Experts.
  • The NIH Project Scientist will be a member of the Steering Committee and, as determined by that committee, and its Subcommittees as needed. Only one NIH Project Scientist will vote on the Steering Committee. Other designated NIH program staff attending the steering committee meetings will be an ex officio (non-voting) member(s).
  • The NIH Project Scientist, and other designated NIH program staff will help the Steering Committee develop and draft operating policies.
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) and Program Official will review the scientific progress, cooperation in carrying out research, and maintenance of high quality research in each of the individual research project(s), and review the project(s) for compliance with operating policies developed by the Consortium (Steering Committee), and may recommend to the NIH to continue funding; withhold support or restrict an award for lack of scientific progress or failure to adhere to policies established by the Consortium (Steering Committee). Review of progress may include regular communications with the PD/PI and NIH staff, periodic site visits for discussions with awardee research teams, fiscal review, and other relevant matters. The NIH retains the option of periodic external review of progress.
  • The NIDDK reserves the right to terminate or curtail any study or any individual award in the event of (a) substantial shortfall in data collection or submission, quality control, or other major breach or a study protocol or Consortium policy and procedure, (b) substantive changes in a study protocol that are not in keeping with the objectives of the FOA, and/or a human subject ethical issue that may dictate a premature termination.
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) and Program Official will review and approve applications of the Special Opportunity Funds to ensure that they are within the scope of Consortium research as described in the FOA and NIH guidelines.
  • The NIH will name additional scientific consultants as necessary from within the NIH whose function will be to assist the Project Scientist(s) and the Steering Committee in carrying out the goals and aims of the approved studies. The NIH will have one vote for any key committees, regardless of the number of NIH personnel involved. o The Project Scientist(s) will have substantial scientific programmatic involvement in quality control, preparation of publications, research coordination and performance monitoring. The Project Scientist(s) will have the same access and privileges to any data generated by the grantee. The dominant role and primary responsibility for these activities resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities in carrying out the studies will be shared among the awardees and the NIDDK Project Scientist(s).
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) serve as a resource with respect to other ongoing NIH activities that may be relevant to HIRN studies to facilitate compatibility and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) or designee may coordinate activities among awardees by assisting in the design, development, and coordination of (a) common research protocol(s) and statistical evaluations of data and in the publication of results.
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) may review procedures for assessing data quality and monitor study performance.
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) may be (a) co-author(s) on study publications. In general, to warrant co-authorship, the NIH staff must have contributed to one or more of the following areas: (a) design of the concepts or experiments being tested; (b) performance of significant portions of the activity; (c) participation in analysis and interpretation of study results and (d) preparation and authorship of pertinent manuscripts.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

Through the Awardee, Steering Committee and NIH staff, the study members will cooperatively develop and implement processes to submit information and data to the dkNET-Coordinating Unit (dkNET-CU), determine criteria and processes for quality control of information and data to be posted for the research community, refine scientific objectives, and implement research advances to facilitate the goals of the study, consistent with NIH policies and achieving the goals of the program as described in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

  •  Executive Committee (EC)

  • The EC will consist of: The Director of the dkNET-CU, the NIDDK Project Scientist, and representative PIs chosen among the network consortium awardees; the EC is not a governing body and does not cast votes.
  • The EC will review the progress of all NIH-funded special funding opportunity programs and make recommendations for improvement. Annual reports will be prepared for each special funding opportunity to coincide with one of the annual SC meetings;
  • The EC will have meetings that will be organized by the Director of the dkNET-CU. Any EC member may place items on the agenda. These should be communicated in advance of the meeting to the Project Scientist(s) who will distribute these to all members. The designated NIDDK Program Official(s) of the U24 may be asked to participate in order to provide additional information and to summarize actions that are taken.
  • Steering Committee (SC)

  • The Steering Committee (SC) composed of the PD/PI(s) for the U24, or Contact PD/PI(s) in the case of multi-PD/PI grants, of the study (including research projects and Coordinating Center) and the NIH Project Scientist(s) will be the main governing board of the study (Consortium). Each full SC member will have one vote. All major scientific and policy decisions will be determined by (voting policies as established by the SC at the initial meeting). This committee will operate to develop collaborative protocols, identify impediments to success and strategies to overcome them, develop shared tools for disseminating information about the projects, and identify opportunities for sharing techniques, materials, information and tools developed within each individual project. The SC activities and decisions will consider the advice of the External Experts.
  • NIDDK staff, in concert with the SC, will have the option to redirect research activities within the U24 grant if it is considered beneficial to the overall program.
  • The SC may, as it deems necessary, invite additional, non-voting scientific consultants to meetings at which research priorities and opportunities are discussed. The NIH reserves the right to augment the expertise of the Steering Committee when necessary.
  • There will be an initial meeting and at least one Steering Committee meeting annually. These meetings will incorporate participation and recommendations of the External Experts when determined by NIH staff (or as stipulated in the FOA).
  • An SC Chairperson will be chosen by the NIH. In collaboration with the CC and the NIH Project Scientists, the Chairperson is responsible for coordinating the SC activities, for preparing meeting agendas and for chairing meetings.
  • The SC, including the Project Scientist(s), is responsible for establishing and implementing processes and criteria for recommending special projects for consideration for special opportunity funds by NIH staff.
  • Each research project awardee and the CC awardee agree to the governance of the U24 through the SC.
  • The NIH Project Scientist(s) may work with awardees on issues coming before the Steering Committee and, as appropriate, other committees.
  • External Consultants

  • An independent panel of External Consultants will be established by the NIDDK. The External Experts will review periodically interim progress of the U24 and report to NIDDK staff. Members of the panel of External Experts may be asked, on an ad hoc basis, to participate in the peer review of applications for new research initiatives that utilize special “opportunity pool” funds.

Dispute Resolution

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific/technical matter or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIDDK may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened.  It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee.  This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D, and HHS regulations at 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Xujing Wang, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-451-2862
Email: wangx21@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Thomas A. Tatham, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-594-3993
Email: tathamt@niddk.nih.gov 

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Christina Coriz
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK))
Telephone: 301-594-8848
Email: corizc@niddk.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.

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